Thursday, September 22, 2011

Review of Plague by Michael Grant

Plague: A Gone Novel by Michael Grant; Katherine Tegen Books, 2011.

In this fourth book in the Gone series by Michael Grant, the kids discover that flying snakes called greenies are spreading parasites through their droppings. The parasites eat the infected host and eventually hatch as huge insects, or “gut roaches”, which cannot be killed by Sam’s blazing powers. Hunter is the first person to succumb to the parasites. Additionally, a deadly flu is spreading among the kids. This flu literally causes the sick person to cough up his lungs and die. Unfortunately, the flu is immune to Lana’s healing touch.

Perdido Beach is running out of water, and Albert has sent Sam and three others on a quest to explore Lake Tramanto. Brittney/Drake has escaped, kidnapped Jamal, and is heading toward “The Darkness”. Caine shows up in Perdido Beach to help save the kids from the gut roaches. Little Pete causes it to rain, which brings all the kids out into the streets to play in the water.

As you can see, there are two main plots in this novel and too many subplots to even mention. Having not read the first three books in the series, I was totally lost when I started reading Plague. I had to go back, read detailed synopses of the previous books and make extensive notes just to understand what was going on. The characters are all so different, and there are many conflicts, cliques, and side stories. The kids have formed their own sort of society and their own form of government. I don’t honestly see how the characters have survived, and some of them have not, with all the obstacles that are constantly being put in their way! The novel is exciting and is a real page-turner, despite the sometimes

Plague cannot really be read as a stand-along novel. I encourage people who want to read the book to read the first three books before this one. I recommend this book for high school and public libraries, but only if the first three books are in their collections.